Academic advising is an important process in which faculty and staff assist students in developing plans and in clarifying career and/or advanced study goals. All students should meet with an academic adviser at least once each semester to plan future coursework. In these meetings, students and advisers discuss academic records which may include grade reports, transcripts, evaluations of work transferred to TCU and degree plans.
Students new to the University are required to attend advising sessions for the first four semesters after entering TCU. They are likely to require assistance in the mechanics of first-time enrollment and in exploring choices related to selection of courses and degree programs. Students with more University experience often handle these tasks with little need for assistance, but may profit from direction in maximizing academic performance and setting career goals. Finally, students nearing completion of their academic program are likely to need specific help in ensuring that all degree requirements are met and assistance with the transition to a career or advanced study. In short, the specific activities required will depend on the adviser, the student and the student's progress in his/her academic career.
The student-adviser relationship is one of shared expectations and responsibilities. Consequently, advising activities will depend on the needs of the student and on his/her academic program. Further, the actual activities involved in advising will change as a student progresses through a degree program or subsequently changes degree programs.
Pre-majors (those who have not formally declared a major) are advised by professional staff associated with the Center for Academic Services. The center provides resources and access to programs designed to help students identify career interests and possible majors.
Students who have declared majors are advised in the department of the major or by professional staff in the school/college of that major. When students declare a major, they are referred to the major department and school/college for future advising.
A quality advising relationship requires a dedicated adviser and a prepared student. The student must initiate advising activities, define the need of advising activity, and be prepared to take responsibility for his/her academic and career goals as well as his/her academic performance. Prior to seeing their advisers, students should become familiar with degree and major requirements for programs of interest and courses in which they wish to enroll. Advisers will answer questions and make suggestions, but the student must assume full responsibility for satisfying all program and degree requirements.
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